So I've been digging into the 13-10 win the Cardinals put up against our very own rival Buccaneers, and I found some very favorable matchups for some of our more influential players, and if things swing our way this could be a VERY big game for our wunderkind defensive tackle, Star Lotulelei.
As it stands now, Arizona's starting LG Daryn Colledge did not participate during practice Wednesday after suffering an injury to his shin while taking on DT Gerald McCoy in last weeks win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Mr.Colledge is unable to go Sunday, it could give our Panther's front four an immense advantage. Up until the injury the Pro Football Focus graded the LG at +2.4 on 43 snaps, most of which were against Bucs stalwart Gerald McCoy. When Colledge went down Arizona supplanted him with OT Nate Potter, a 7th round pick in the 2012 draft from Boise State, Potter graded out at -2.3 on 23 snaps. With the potential of Potter remaining in the starting lineup along the interior of the offensive line, the likes of Star and The Kraken should be licking their figurative chops. Also, having a new starter at LT in the midst of the Levi Brown trade should only help Lotulelei and Hardy destroy the left side of an offensive line who has had literally only a few days to gel. Star, by the way has so far graded at a whopping +7.7. If I were a betting man, this would definitely be the game where I'd bet on #98 to have a big game. Oh, and another thing, while under pressure Carson Palmer had a paltry 16.5 passer rating. I'm glad that pressure is what our defense does best.
Moving on to the less attractive matchups, that of course being anyone who lines up against Patrick Peterson. As there are many skeptics who believe Peterson is a better return man than he is a corner, the numbers from last week's game don't lie. He was given a +5.0 grade while handling TB's #1 receiver Vincent Jackson. During the entire breadth of the game he allowed only one reception, for 8 yards. He also came up with 2 very big interceptions. Smitty will have his hands full, as I fear this is not the same CB he out-dueled in the 2011 season opener.
So, being an upstanding Panther's fan I feel I am obligated to wish further misfortune upon the Cardinal's starting LG, and hope he remains inactive until the Atlanta game on the 27th. If Potter stays in the lineup he may just help make a Star, and be crushed by one in the process. Thoughts?